ENNHRI 2024 Report on the State of the Rule of Law in the European Union published

The European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) has announced the publication of the ENNHRI 2024 Report on the State of the Rule of Law in the European Union. Submitted to the European Commission on 23 April, the report significantly contributes to the EU’s rule of law monitoring cycle.

ENNHRI, uniting over 40 national human rights institutions across Europe, aims to promote and protect human rights throughout the region. It serves as a collaborative platform for these institutions, fostering solidarity and collective action to defend human rights and address related challenges at the European level.

The report addresses the situation in Malta, specifically relating to the establishment, independence, and effectiveness of a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI). It highlights that various national, regional, and international stakeholders have urged Malta to establish an NHRI, a recommendation prominently featured during the Universal Periodic Review of Malta.

The report encourages Malta to advance the adoption of legislative amendments swiftly and establish an NHRI in line with the UN Paris Principles.

It also highlights recent progress made by the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, which joined ENNHRI in February 2024. By joining ENNHRI, the Ombudsman’s Office has committed to taking proactive steps towards achieving accreditation as an NHRI compliant with the Paris Principles.

The Ombudsman’s Office has actively pursued the establishment of a fully-fledged NHRI in Malta. It has proposed to the Maltese Government the integration of NHRI functions within its existing framework and suggested an extension of its current mandate to include a broader spectrum of human rights responsibilities. The Ombudsman Act supports this expansion, empowering the Office to address issues related to unjust, oppressive, or improper discriminatory actions by the public administration.

The Office operates with a high degree of independence. It is supported by adequate resources and enjoys financial autonomy, ensuring it can effectively uphold and advocate for expanded human rights responsibilities.

ENNHRI continues to monitor developments in Malta and stands ready to support the member institution and provide expertise on establishing and accreditation NHRIs to relevant stakeholders.

This publication and the ongoing efforts of the Ombudsman’s Office reflect a committed step towards enhancing the rule of law and strengthening human rights protection in Malta.

Documents:

ENNHRI 2024 Report on the State of the Rule of Law in the European Union

ENNHRI 2024 Report on the State of the Rule of Law in the European Union – Malta Chapter

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